Students these days have the extraordinary power–literally in the palm of their hands–to publicly call out injustice via social media. But what about when it gets personal and individuals are called out and “canceled”? In our latest episode of Above the Noise, Myles investigates the difference between “calling out” and “calling in” and talks with high schoolers about the pros and cons of taking personal grievances public.
TEACHERS: Guide your students to practice civil discourse about current topics and get practice writing CER (claim, evidence, reasoning) responses. Explore lesson supports.
What is cancel culture?
Cancel culture has been around for a long time. When have people not disagreed or challenged each other’s thoughts? As we know it today, canceling is about holding powerful people accountable for what they say and do. At least, in theory, much of its media coverage and attention revolves around whether canceling is more about accountability or online shaming of the accused.
What’s cancel culture’s impact on students?
Students usually aren’t big-name celebrities, so when they cancel each other it’s usually about taking personal conflicts onto a public platform. That can have lasting impacts on both the accuser and the accused. Both might have their mental health affected, as the accuser may be forced to relive the trauma by having to bring up the conflict publicly, or the potential for the scandal to follow both parties well beyond when the incident happened. And both the accuser and accused may feel ostracized by their peers and research shows that this social rejection from peers can lead to academic struggles, low self-esteem, and a “decrease in prosocial behaviors.”